Last night while I was half asleep, I got inspired to make something delicious. It involves making my own cultured vegan cheeze, so I won’t be able to post about it for a few days. I don’t want to give too much away, but it also involves the creepy, yet delicious, mock dock and strawberries. Okay, that’s all I’m saying. Check back later this week to see my creation.
In the meantime, it was my awesome brother Shaun’s birthday last Friday. We decided to celebrate the following day at The Elephant Bar. While chain restaurants are not my fav, The Elephant Bar does have a couple of options that can be made vegan. They have lots of veggies and rice and a few sauces that are vegan. Anyhow, I typically don’t take photos of my meals when I eat out, unless they are amazing. And while I’m totally grateful to The Elephant Bar for providing me with a vegan meal, it really wasn’t worth sharing photos with y’all.
But, you know what is worth sharing photos of? BIRTHDAY CAKE! I asked my brother what kind of cake he’d like this year and he asked for chocolate (his classic fav) or a spice cake, like carrot without the carrots, raisins etc. I made him a chocolate cake last year and I didn’t want to do the exact same recipe again. Then, one of the best and most amazing bakers and bloggers on Earth, Ashlae of Oh, Ladycakes solved all of my problems. She posted a recipe for Chocolate Punkin Ale Cupcakes. If you read my Pumpkin Ale Round-Up post, then you already know my feelings on Dogfish Head‘s Punkin Ale. It’s a superior beer for sure. As I read through the recipe, it just sounded perfect. It was a combination of chocolate and spice, a marriage of the two flavors my brother asked for. Ashlae’s recipes are pretty reliably delicious, so I went ahead and did my take on her recipe.
I made very few changes and split the batter into two cake pans. In all honesty, I should have doubled the recipe for a real layer cake, but just took the fast way out and split the batter. I also opted to put a layer of sugar free chocolate agave icing in the center, rather than the white pumpkin pie spiced frosting that I used for the outside of the cake. I think in the end, the fudgey chocolate for the middle layer of frosting was a nice choice. I was complimented on that in particular. I guess it broke up the cake and texture nicely, and was a nice change from the spiced frosting, which everyone also loved, they like variety!–and I did use Ashlae’s exact recipe for white spiced frosting. Trust me when I say that it’s incredible. The addition of that small bit of flour is genius and the sweetness is perfect. It’s not overwhelmingly sugary….like, you can taste the flavors in it and in the cake instead of just tasting, well…sugar. The cake was a great success. Everyone enjoyed the cake and the entire thing was eaten. I received so many “I can’t believe it’s vegan” from people, even our waitress who I cut a piece for, so she could have some on her break. That’s when you know you’ve done good. Thank you to Ashlae. Her recipes continue to inspire me in so many ways. She is a creative and talented baker and I truly learn a lot from her blog and recipes.
I need to get myself into a cake decorating class to make things look nicer! Also, just as a note, the orange frosting is the same white spiced frosting, just has a bit of all natural plant based food coloring in it.